Country skillet potpie (vegan-style) for a hearty meal on Meatless Monday

No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

With the chilly weather this past weekend we decided to skip salad, and instead grabbed some fresh fingerling potatoes and yellow baby carrots and made a potpie in a cast-iron skillet, and topped with biscuits. It was perfect for chasing those last remnants of winter away. We used the gravy from the green bean casserole and the biscuits from our earlier biscuits and gravy recipe, so this dish should be somewhat familiar territory.

You will need:

A cast-iron skillet Oil 2 cups diced potatoes 1/2 cup diced carrot 1 onion 3 stalks celery 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance is best) 2 1/4 cup flour 3 cups vegetable broth (you know how we feel about making it yourself!) 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes 1 cup fresh or frozen corn 1 cup fresh or frozen green beans 1 cup fresh or frozen peas 1 teaspoon rosemary 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup non-dairy milk

The vegetable amounts are estimates -- that's what we used for this dish, but if you'd rather have more corn and fewer potato chunks, or more carrots and no peas, feel free!

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Heat a little oil (a mist of spray is fine) in your cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Chop your onion. Place the onion in the skillet and start to cook, stirring infrequently, allowing the onion to brown. Meanwhile, get the potatoes and carrots ready. 2. Thoroughly scrub your potatoes. Chop them into bite-sized pieces. Do the same thing with your carrots -- we went with yellow ones, but traditional orange are fabulous, too! Chop the celery, also. After about ten minutes, your onion should look like this. 3. Add 1/4 cup of vegan butter and let it melt in the skillet. Allow the butter to melt completely ... ... before adding the flour. Mix the flour into the onion and butter, allowing it to dissolve. Perfect. 4. Add the vegetable broth and stir until everything is combined. Stir in the potatoes, carrots and celery. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, lower heat and allow to simmer for about thirty minutes, until the carrots and potatoes are softening. If you're using frozen peas, corn and green beans, place those in a colander and allow them to partially thaw while you work on the biscuits. And melt 1/3 cup butter in a bowl in the microwave, too. 5. Place two cups flour, the baking powder and the teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and the 2/3 cup nondairy milk to the flour mixture. Mix until you have a lumpy dough to work with. 6. Crack some fresh black pepper and add some salt to the gravy mixture on the stove. Add the partially thawed (or fresh) green beans, peas and corn and mix in with the other veggies; cook for another five minutes or so. Mix in the nutritional yeast, stirring until it's dissolved. 7. Form the biscuit dough into flat rounds, like so. Place the rounds next to each other on top of the stew you've made. They will expand as they bake in the oven, so it's okay if they don't line up perfectly. (But if you want enough dough to completely cover the mixture, use 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, a little over 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup nondairy milk; those proportions will give you a much more crust-heavy pie.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the biscuits are golden-brown on top. Let sit for five to ten minutes before serving (if you can!).

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